Memorandum by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries
COUNTRYSIDE STEWARDSHIP REGULATIONS 2000 (S.I. 2000/3048)
1. By a letter dated 14 December 2000, the Committee
has requested that a memorandum be submitted on the following
(1) Are the provisions of
regulations 4 to 9, or any of them, intended to apply to agreements
made before these Regulations came into force? If so, explain
why that is not made clear either in the definition of "agreement"
in regulation 2(1) or in some other way.
2. Yes. The term "agreement" is defined
by regulations 2(1) and 3(2), and is not confined to agreements
made under these Regulations. It is submitted that it is apparent
from other provisions of the Regulations, notably 5, 6(2), 7(3)
and 10(1)(a), that "agreement" includes an agreement
made before the Regulations came into force as well as an agreement
made after their coming into force.
(2) Given that regulation
3(3)(b) provides that the Minister may only enter into an agreement
which, in respect of any activity specified in column 1 of Part
I, II, or III of the Schedule, does not require the Minister to
make payments in excess of the maximum payment rate specified
in column 2 thereof, explain why regulation 3(3)(c) provides that
the Minister may only enter into an agreement which does not require
the Minister to make payments in respect of any activities not
specified in Part I or II of the Schedule.
3. The Committee has correctly pointed out a potential
ambiguity. In seeking to simplify while consolidating the Regulations
the Ministry failed to make a sufficiently clear distinction,
in regulation 3(3)(b), between activities all of which are specified
in Parts I and II of the Schedule and Part III of the Schedule
which is not concerned with activities as such but with connected
matters for which payment may be made. Regulation 3(3)(c) does
not apply to Part III for that reason. The Ministry accepts the
implicit criticism and will amend the Regulations at the next
(3) Regulation 5(b) provides
that a beneficiary's entitlement to receive payments shall be
subject to the condition that he has complied with the requirements
of regulation 7. Explain what requirements are imposed by regulation
4. None. The reference should be to regulation 8.
The Ministry apologises for this error and will amend the Regulations
at the next opportunity.
(4) Regulation 7(3) refers
to agreements which provide for "a payment at a rate less
than the former maximum payment rate in respect of the year ending
on 31 July 2000, and a payment in respect of the year ending on
31 July 2000. Explain why it does not refer to agreements which
provide for a payment in respect of a year ending on any other
5. The activities referred to by this regulation
are part of a pilot scheme operated by the Ministry and known
as 'the Arable Stewardship Scheme'. As a matter of practice all
agreements referable to this scheme end on 31 July. The terms
of the cited activities, whose duration is less than the term
of the agreements, also end on 31 July.
19 December 2000